64 Iconic Oscars Looks So Beautiful, They Deserve an Award of Their Own
Sports fanatics have the Super Bowl, but for fashion-lovers, it’s Oscars night we count down to. We build our brackets, rustle up some snacks, and sit back with our friends to weigh in on every stunning dress that comes down the red carpet – or the virtual runway, aka our Instagram feeds. Every year, we wait nervously for those looks, the ones that take our breath away. The anticipation’s been building for months, and we can hardly wait for the big day to arrive. Who will be the standout star of 2021? Only time will tell. So, to tide us over, we’ve rounded up the iconic Oscars dresses we’ll never forget.
– Additional reporting by Haley Lyndes and Sarah Wasilak
Audrey Hepburn at the 1954 Academy Awards
Audrey’s timeless Givenchy dress and belt will forever go down in history.
Grace Kelly at the 1954 Academy Awards
Grace Kelly celebrated her award for best actress for the movie The Country Girl in a stunning cinched dress.
Sophia Loren at the 1958 Academy Awards
Sophia wore a skintight satin floral dress to the Oscars in 1958.
Rita Moreno at the 1962 Academy Awards
Rita Moreno wore this shimmery gown in 1962 when she won the award for best supporting actress for her role as Anita in West Side Story, then she wore it again at the Oscars in 2018!
Barbra Streisand at the 1969 Academy Awards
Barbra Streisand took a daring leap with this sheer Arnold Scaasi dress, and we’re sure happy she did!
Audrey Hepburn at the 1975 Academy Awards
Sticking with Givenchy, Audrey caught everyone’s attention in this beaded number.
Diana Ross at the 1985 Academy Awards
Diana Ross’s sparkly gown made her look like a real-life princess as she performed at the 57th annual Academy Awards.
Cher at the 1988 Academy Awards
Cher looked as stunning as ever while holding her award for best actress for the movie Moonstruck.
Daryl Hannah at the 1988 Academy Awards
Daryl paired her gorgeous gold dress with a pair of elbow-length gloves, and we love what they add to her look.
Cindy Crawford at the 1993 Academy Awards
The supermodel graced the 65th annual Academy Awards show in a skintight Herve Leger dress.
Whitney Houston at the 1994 Academy Awards
Whitney Houston looked like a true girl boss at the 66th annual Academy Awards wearing an all-white pantsuit.
Elizabeth Hurley at the 1995 Academy Awards
The model and actress dazzled at the Oscars in 1995 wearing a sparkly Versace gown.
Mira Sorvino at the 1996 Academy Awards
Mira stunned in this strapless Armani gown at the Oscars in 1996.
Nicole Kidman at the 1997 Academy Awards
Celebs wearing couture on the red carpet wasn’t a new concept in 1997, but this dress looked so good on Nicole that it will go down in history as one of the best looks at the Oscars.
Sharon Stone at the 1998 Academy Awards
Sharon stunned fashion observers everywhere when she tucked one of her husband’s white Gap shirts into a ball skirt by Vera Wang.
Gwyneth Paltrow at the 1999 Academy Awards
This pink Ralph Lauren dress will go down in history as an Oscars classic.
Winona Ryder at the 2000 Academy Awards
This strapless number caught everyone’s attention at the Oscars in 2000.
Uma Thurman at the 2000 Academy Awards
Though it was nearly the same color as the red carpet, this Alberta Ferretti gown stood out at the 2000 Oscars.
Julia Roberts at the 2001 Academy Awards
Julia Roberts‘s simple yet stunning Valentino gown carried her from the red carpet to the winners’ room.
Renée Zellweger at the 2001 Academy Awards
Renée chose a very happy vintage dress by French designer Jean Dessès.
Halle Berry at the 2002 Academy Awards
Halle wore an Elie Saab gown with a sheer bodice and a full skirt to the awards in 2002, where she became the first black woman to win an Oscar for best actress in a leading role.
Kate Hudson at the 2003 Academy Awards
Wearing a champagne-colored Versace gown, Kate Hudson looked like a classic Hollywood star.
Sofia Coppola at the 2004 Academy Awards
The filmmaker supported her longtime friend Marc Jacobs when she chose one of his dresses for the red carpet.
Vanessa Paradis at the 2004 Academy Awards
The actress, with then-boyfriend Johnny Depp, wore a vintage Chanel gown on the red carpet.
Hilary Swank at the 2005 Academy Awards
This backless navy blue Guy Laroche dress gave Hilary an element of polish and elegance.
Michelle Williams at the 2006 Academy Awards
Vera Wang designed the sunny yellow dress Michelle chose for the red carpet in 2006.
Nicole Kidman at the 2007 Academy Awards
The actress wore a red gown by Balenciaga’s former designer Nicolas Ghesquière on the red carpet.
Reese Witherspoon at the 2007 Academy Awards
The actress wore a tiered Nina Ricci gown dyed varying degrees of purple to the awards in 2007.
Sandra Bullock at the 2010 Academy Awards
Sandra looked like a winner – and become one later that evening – in this silver gown by Marchesa.
Diane Kruger at the 2010 Academy Awards
Diane chose a cream and black dress by Chanel for the big show in 2010.
Cate Blanchett at the 2011 Academy Awards
Cate’s lavender gown, created by Givenchy, looked like couture armor on the red carpet.
Angelina Jolie at the 2012 Academy Awards
Angelina showed off plenty of leg in this strapless black velvet Versace gown in 2012.
Gwyneth Paltrow at the 2012 Academy Awards
This caped Tom Ford gown helped Gwyneth look like a superhero.
Natalie Portman at the 2012 Academy Awards
The actress wore a strapless vintage gown by Christian Dior.
Michelle Williams at the 2012 Academy Awards
The actress chose a strapless red lace gown by Louis Vuitton.
Rooney Mara at the 2012 Academy Awards
Rooney’s elegant white Givenchy gown still had plenty of bite – just like her character in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Jennifer Lawrence at the 2013 Academy Awards
Jennifer’s pale Dior couture gown made her look like a princess – that is, until she fell in it while accepting her award.
Kerry Washington at the 2013 Academy Awards
Kerry’s sparkly Miu Miu dress added a jolt of energy at the 2013 Oscars.
Charlize Theron at the 2013 Academy Awards
The simplicity of this Dior gown didn’t stop it from being one of the most stunning dresses on the red carpet in 2013.
Lupita Nyong'o at the 2014 Academy Awards
Lupita was the belle of the ball in this ethereal blue Prada gown.
Zendaya at the 2015 Academy Awards
Zendaya looked like a goddess on the 2015 Oscars red carpet in this silky white Vivienne Westwood gown.
Jennifer Lopez at the 2015 Academy Awards
The singer and actress turned heads in a blush-colored tulle dress from Elie Saab.
Lupita Nyong'o at the 2015 Academy Awards
Lupita showed up on the red carpet wearing a custom Calvin Klein Collection gown adorned with 6,000 pearls.
Emma Stone at the 2015 Academy Awards
In an unexpected move, Emma opted for a chartreuse custom Elie Saab gown in 2015.
Charlize Theron at the 2016 Academy Awards
Charlize Theron wore a red-hot Dior Haute Couture dress in 2016.
Alicia Vikander at the 2016 Academy Awards
Alicia Vikander wore a pastel yellow custom Louis Vuitton dress with sparkly details at the Oscars in 2016.
Janelle Monae at the 2017 Academy Awards
Janelle wore an Elie Saab Haute Couture dress, Jennifer Behr crown, Forevermark jewels, and Brian Atwood shoes.
Taraji P. Henson at the 2018 Academy Awards
Taraji kept it simple and let the cutouts be the center of attention on this Vera Wang dress.
Gina Rodriguez at the 2018 Academy Awards
Gina looked like an actual princess in this Zuhair Murad Couture dress.
Jennifer Garner at the 2018 Academy Awards
Jennifer made a statement in this electric blue Atelier Versace draped gown.
Margot Robbie at the 2018 Academy Awards
Margot looked angelic in this custom Chanel Haute Couture dress.
Billy Porter at the 2019 Academy Awards
Billy Porter made a dramatic entrance in a custom Christian Siriano velvet tuxedo gown in 2019.
Gemma Chan at the 2019 Academy Awards
Crazy Rich Asians star Gemma Chan turned heads at the Oscars in 2019 when she graced the red carpet in a ruffled pink Valentino gown.
Lady Gaga at the 2019 Academy Awards
The A Star Is Born actress attended the 2019 Oscars wearing a black strapless Alexander McQueen gown, complete with glam gloves.
Charlize Theron at the 2019 Academy Awards
The actress showed off a sexy back cutout in a Dior Haute Couture gown that hugged each and every single one of her curves.
Janelle Monáe at the 2020 Academy Awards
Janelle wore this incredible hooded Ralph Lauren gown to the ceremony, complemented with diamond rings and a matching choker.
Beanie Feldstein at the 2020 Academy Awards
The shimmer on Beanie Feldstein’s Miu Miu dress is undeniable when you zoom in close on those sequins!